Student Portfolios: Determining Criteria

The purpose in deciding on criteria for portfolio artifact collection is to give a whole-class direction to the collection process. The criteria reflect goals you have for your class and goals the students have for themselves. These broad areas provide a framework for writing specific goals for improvement.

ASCD recommends that the teacher selects two criteria, and the students select two. I selected:

1. Creativity/Originality

2. Shows Understanding

One day this week, the students brainstormed about what quality work looks like across subject areas, and out of their brainstorm they voted and selected 2 more criteria:

3. Personal Best

4. Shows I Revise My Work

Criteria end up being  broad areas of interest that students are aware of and evaluate each piece they select for their portfolio accordingly.

Eventually, after a period of artifact collection, students can write specific, individual goals that will help them improve in each area.

I haven’t decided yet if students will write individual goals for each criterion or if will be better to have students focus on one goal at a time for LA and one for Math. I’m going to see how things progress.

On another day, students looked at a math assignment they just completed. We brainstormed as a class about what each of the criteria could look like specifically in math, and we created a table based on their suggestions and review of their work. We started the table together, then they began individually evaluating their work using a reflection sheet.

What Quality Math Work Looks Like

(Link to more information on “3 Finger Rule“)

Here is a sample of the portfolio reflection sheet they filled out to evaluate their first completed math assignment. It doesn’t include specific goal-setting, as I will introduce this later.  As students were writing, I walked around and grabbed more specific examples that they used to describe their work and added it to the table. Building the table above together gave all students a variety of language they needed to fill out the reflection sheet in a thoughtful, individual way. I will post student examples at a later date.

One thing to note is that we discussed that not every piece is going to reflect their best work because they are collecting pieces for a Growth Portfolio. They may begin by collecting pieces that need improvements, and then select later pieces that show that improvement.

Next up: Refining reflection talk and writing specific, individual goals!

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